Date of Award

Summer 5-23-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Luke Stedrak, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Brunn, Ed.D.

Keywords

school climate, school culture, ESEA Flexibility Waiver, school culture of secondary schools, Priority Schools, Focus Schools

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the school climate and school culture in selected public secondary Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools in New Jersey and New York. This study used the United States Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver definition to identify Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools. The grades ranged from ninth to twelfth grade. The lists of schools were identified from the 2016 New Jersey Department of Education and the New York State Education Department lists of Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools (NJDOE, 2016; NYSED, 2016). The Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire – Rutgers Secondary (OCDQ-RS) and the School Culture Survey (SCS) were the instruments used to gather data on school climate and school culture. A total of 627 teachers participated in the study. Due to the low number of teachers participating in the study, the information gleaned from this study may not be as accurate as a study with substantially more teachers participating.

The findings in this study suggested that Reward Schools had an open school climate and a collaborative school culture. Teachers from Reward Schools had mean scores above the normative mean of 500 in Supportive Principal Behavior, Engaged Teacher Behavior, and Intimate Teacher Behavior. The ANOVA post hoc test Tukey HSD revealed that Reward Schools had two climate dimensions, Supportive Principal Behavior and Engaged Teacher Behavior, which were statistically different than the mean scores from Priority and Focus Schools at the .001 significance level. Reward Schools had mean scores in four culture dimensions, Collaborative Leadership, Teacher Collaboration, Professional Development, and Learning Partnership, above the normative mean of 500. The ANOVA post hoc test Tukey HSD revealed there were two school culture dimensions, Collective Leadership and Learning Partnership, which were statistically different between Reward Schools and Focus Schools at the .05 significance level. Priority and Focus Schools had engaged school climates. Teachers from Priority and Focus Schools had mean scores above the normative mean in Directive Principal Behavior and Intimate Teacher Behavior. The ANOVA post hoc test Tukey HSD revealed that there was one school climate dimension, Frustrated Teacher Behavior, which was statistically different between Priority Schools and Focus Schools at the .05 significance level. Priority Schools and Focus Schools had mean scores above the normative mean score of 500 in Teacher Collaboration and Collegial Support. Teachers from both schools had a mean score that was slightly below the normative mean in Collaborative Leadership. Both Priority Schools and Focus Schools had mean scores below the normative mean in Professional Development and Unity of Purpose. ANOVA post hoc test Tukey HSD revealed that there was one school culture dimension, Collegial Support, which was statistically different between Priority Schools and Focus Schools. The results of this study may assist school leaders develop an open school climate that can lead to a collaborative school culture. School culture can assist schools build and maintain high student achievement for many years (Gruenert & Whitaker, 2015).

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